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Old 08-20-2014, 11:52 AM
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Smile What bigger bird wouldn't rip your house apart?

I have a question for bigger birds owners. I'm not planning to get one any time soon, and just being curious. But you never know about the rescue situations where you might need to take an action (as was my cockatiel).
I wonder about a larger bird that can be kept out of cage a lot and won't do damage to your house (furniture and other stuff) - does it exist at all?
We have fresh remodeling done and nice vintage furniture in our house which I would hate to see ruined. I had pet rats which I had to give away for the reason that they chewed everything they got in touch with. Thankfully they got into really good hands and the lady keeps me updated on them.
I'm very happy with my 5 smaller birds since not only they are a huge joy for me, but also I can keep them out of cage as much as I want because they never chew or ruin anything. My gcc is basically a cage free bird and goes to his cage only to sleep. Even when we leave we don't have to cage him.
I was just wondering if that kind of freedom could be given to an African grey, or Amazon or Ekkie, or any larger breed? Let me know about your experiences!

Thank you!!!
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:59 AM
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Re: What bigger bird wouldn't rip your house apart?

Birds actually come in species, not breeds Though with the growing popularity of hybrids we may soon move to "breeds of macaw" etc.

No species of bird can really "fit" your description, not even the ones you already have. It is very individual. My Maximilian's Pionus' never took a bite out of wood in my house, but Sam did try to eat the couch cushions once, and honestly both of them I believe have suffered from environmental poverty and may never learn how a bird should interact with his surroundings. I think you should never get a bird you are not willing to cage. I am all for cage free when it works, but you will never know it works until you have the bird in your home.
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Old 08-20-2014, 12:21 PM
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cinnamon turquoise gcc - luna, pineapple gcc - drago, galah/rose breasted 'too - merlin, timneh african grey - jasper, cockatiel - picasso, b&g macaw - mia
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Re: What bigger bird wouldn't rip your house apart?

You might end up with an individual who isn't a big chewer, but it's not something you can predict based on species. To be on the safe side, I would say no, there isn't a bigger bird who doesn't have the potential to destroy your house if left unsupervised.
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Old 08-20-2014, 12:26 PM
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Re: What bigger bird wouldn't rip your house apart?

Short answer: Any bigger bird YOU TRAIN NOT to chew on things they aren't supposed to.

Left to their own devices, with nothing to do all day, NONE OF THEM.

I have five loose in my house right now, including two macaws. They've been loose like that for close to a decade.

That's on you, dude!
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Old 08-20-2014, 12:27 PM
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Re: What bigger bird wouldn't rip your house apart?

Hard to say since each individual is so different... Some birds are voracious wood chewers, while others of the SAME species may have a personal preference against wood "toys". Some individuals are more active or curious than others, while some naturally have more of a sedate, 'stay put' personality.
Some birds may exhibit "stereotypical" traits of their species, some may not.

Personally speaking, I'd always cage a bird when I'm not home to supervise.
Many years ago, I had a Cockatiel. His cage door would be open all day long for him to come and go as he wished even when no one was home. This was a good bird, and never got into anything, and could always reliably be found in one of a couple places. He'd always put himself back to his cage after some time anyways. BUT, I'd never do that again with a bird *personally* even if the circumstances permitted. I once had an Eclectus who stayed put anywhere I'd put her, and no matter what. That was just natural for her, but I'm guessig others of the species might wander depending on individual personality? I wouldn't necessarily recommend an Ekkie anyway, unless you really understand their specific requirements and sensitivities. Just using her as one example.

I'd say ANY parrot has the potential to wander and destroy... Even the little ones. Your GCC and Cockatiel may not be destructive, but believe me, many are! I just remembered, when we had a Cockatiel (before the one mentioned above) he chewed the whole top edge of a bookcase!

I wish there was more of a clear cut answer for you, but fact is, it really depends on the individual bird, and there really is no way of knowing beforehand.
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Old 08-20-2014, 12:30 PM
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Re: What bigger bird wouldn't rip your house apart?

A duck. I've heard people keep them as pets...but they have to wear diapers since they can't really live in a cage.
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Old 08-20-2014, 12:32 PM
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Re: What bigger bird wouldn't rip your house apart?

A well-trained bird of any size can be taught not to chew things that aren't his/hers to chew. This can be achieved by "no chew" training anywhere away from the cage/play tree (or wherever it's ok for them to chew). Kiwi is more than capable of doing extensive damage, but has been trained not to. We started the process by watching him like a hawk, and whenever he'd start trying to chew something, we'd (gently) push his beak away from it, touch the object/surface and tell him in a FIRM voice "mine". Then we would hand him a small toy and say "yours" and praise him for taking it (I always have foot toys on hand when Kiwi's out). It didn't take long for him to learn the difference between the furniture and baseboards and little toys while out (though you do have to watch anything little, like chapstick or pens, because he thinks those are toys too). I can honestly say there is NO damage from Kiwi anywhere in our apartment. He doesn't chew furniture, decorations, walls, floors or clothes.

Since Kiwi isn't flighted, I do have to be within his reach at all times when he's not in one of his areas so he can alert me he needs to go potty or wants to go home, but if he could fly home himself, I would trust him with total freedom to roam the house and not poo or chew. People always house break dogs and cats, and I'll never get why so few people housebreak their highly intelligent and more than capable of learning parrots! I see these homes with the walls and furniture chewed up and droppings on the floor and just want to scream "WHY?!" lol.
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Old 08-20-2014, 12:57 PM
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Re: What bigger bird wouldn't rip your house apart?

Quote: Originally Posted by Kiwibird View Post
I see these homes with the walls and furniture chewed up and droppings on the floor and just want to scream "WHY?!" lol.
I feel the same. But besides teaching no chewing, IMHO it's so much easier to manage birds who aren't fully flighted.

* Not to get into controversy over that, but some of us have birds who wither can't fly, or have special household circumstances for the time being where it's not an option. I can imagine in many cases it might be more of a challenge to have multiple parrots where everyone is flighted, unless a lot of work goes into training everyone to stay put, and what is acceptable. As stated above, with no training whatsoever, some birds 'might' be good, some are naturally more inclined to get into things.

Last edited by RavensGryf; 08-20-2014 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 08-20-2014, 01:09 PM
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Re: What bigger bird wouldn't rip your house apart?

Thing is, even the best behaved and trained animals can and will be naughty when you aren't looking if the opportunity presents itself.

My dogs know to not touch people food, but if my daughter leaves crackers on the table and we forget to throw them out before we leave for work, you can be assured they'll be eaten when we get home. They're dogs after all.

Birds chew. By nature, they are messy about their eating and their pooping.

I read a story once about a free range bird, left alone in the same room for years. This room housed the vacuum too. One day, like every other day, the bird DESTROYED the vacuum. Shredded it into tiny pieces. This was a good, well trained bird who lived with this thing for years and one day said, "hey that looks like fun."

Parrots are smart, and like all smart things, they will try to get away with stuff. Antiques can't be replaced like vacuums. Anything you cannot live without or replace should just not be in bird reach if you aren't around, IMHO.
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Old 08-20-2014, 01:11 PM
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Re: What bigger bird wouldn't rip your house apart?

I mean more overall well trained and I would never allow any bird "free reign" when I wasn't home, unless in a designated and safe bird room. Every bird can be a little naughty every once in a while, or have an accident or just plain feel defiant one day, but I know people who seem to have never taught their birds boundaries of any kind! They are permitted to behave (in regards to chewing) like feral animals and then the owner complains they've torn everything up. Well, why didn't you train them otherwise? If you turn a toddler loose with a hammer and tell them to "go play", expect them to damage the house! You don't *have* to turn your parrot loose with no boundaries or concept of acceptable behavior.
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